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  5. "Zij hebben een theorie over …

"Zij hebben een theorie over zijn ontdekking."

Translation:They have a theory about his discovery.

January 5, 2015



Why not 'its discovery'??


'its' puts emphasis on the discovery that's made, 'his' emphasizes that it was him who made the discovery


I know, that's why I thought both its and his should be accepted


It won't be correct when using 'its' :)


Why not? If you want to say that sentence in English with 'its', how would it be in Dutch?


Its can also be a subject for something non-human. The discovery made by an unmanned space probe for instance. Its discovery meaning the discovery made by "it" (an animal, space probe, etc). So yeah, in short, "its" makes sense here.


I don't know your native language, but in Dutch "possesion words" (i don't know the english word), like "zijn, haar, uw, onze" have the same gender as the person who is possessing, and NOT the thing that is possessed.

I don't know if you know some french, but I will use French to show the difference with Dutch.


La femme et son frère. (The "possession word is masculin because of the thing that is possessed is masculin)


De vrouw en haar broer. (The possession word is feminin, because the person who possesses is feminin)

I hope you understand it. Looking at your name, your spanish, but I haven't done enough duolingo lessons in spanish yet.( :


'They have a theory about his discovery' means that a theory has been found on someone's discovery or in Dutch (Ze hebben een theorie over zijn ontdekking).

"They have a theory about its discovery' applies to the discovery itself.

Writing this reply I've come to realize, that it seems that there is not difference in Dutch translation. So I might owe you an apology there :)

'Zijn' in the Dutch sentence can both apply the his discovery or the discovery of the item itself. Hope this helps! :)


You should read Jurgen's comment.

Anyway, do you speak Spanish? If so, I'll try explainibg it in Spanish, let's see if that's better:

Zij hebben een theorie over zijn ontdekking= Ellos tienen una teoría acerca de su descubrimiento.

Aquí, zijn significa "su", " de él".

Siendo un adjetivo posesivo (o determinativo posesivo), concuerda en género con el Sujeto de la oración o con quien es el "posesor" (si es que este 'posesor' no ha sido mencionado en la oración).

En este caso, no ha sido mencionado.

Es verdad que zijn, al traducirlo al inglés, como posesivo significa tanto his ('su', 'de él') como its ('su' si es que el ente posesor es un objeto o un animal), pero en este caso no tiene sentido traducirlo como its, ya que se supone que sólo un ser humano puede realizar un descubrimiento (or a sentient being ;) ).

En consecuencia, sólo puede traducirse como his.

Tal vez el problema se deba a que en español no hay tantos posesivos como en inglés y neerlandés, no? Es decir, 'su' puede significar tanto uw, como zijn, haar, jullie (posesivo- salvo en España, donde se agrega 'vuestro/a') y hun.

Espero haberte ayudado.


Edit: I was talking to Danilo Vargas

Edit 2: I meant Jurjen, sorry.


'They have a theory on his discovery' should be accepted

  1. Is the accent of "theorie" not at "-rie"?
  2. Is it also fine to translate ontdekking as "finding" in this sentence?


It is indeed. They are pretty much interchangeable. If translated almost literally, findings would be translated to "bevindingen".


Am i hearing the pronunciation of 'theory' correctly?



It should be pronounced as Tay-oh-ree


Would 'they have a theory about their discovery' not also technically be correct? The 'zij' at the sentence start implies 'they', which should also apply to the theory in question?


What about "his findings"?

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